Former Kano State Emir Muhammad Sanusi II and Agriculture Minister Abubakar Kyari have been appointed to the new National Council on Nutrition.
Vice President Kashim Shettima was named Chairman of the Council in a statement released on Tuesday by the State House Director of Information, Office of the Vice President, Olusola Abiola.
Other members of the council are Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation; Uju Kennedy, Minister of Women Affairs; Professor Ali Pate, Minister of Health; and Prof. Joseph Utsev, Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation.
Others include Beta Edu, the Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Minister; Shubam Chauhdri, the World Bank Country Director; and Cristiane Munduate, the UNICEF Country Representative.
During the Council’s inauguration at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Shettima urged members to prioritize innovation and research in order to improve the nation’s nutritional landscape.
He said: “I wish to appeal to all members to prioritise innovation and research in the field of nutrition. “We must embrace technology, leverage digital solutions, and invest in research and development to discover sustainable and scalable solutions for our nutrition challenges.
“This aligns with our pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage.
“We must collaborate to enhance nutrition governance, ensure the widespread availability of nutritious food, champion optimal infant and young child nutrition, and bolster nutrition education and awareness campaigns.
“While funding is undeniably crucial, we must also prioritise streamlining processes, implementing practical strategies, and fostering genuine collaboration to overcome the hurdles before us. A healthy nation isn’t just a happier one; it’s also safer.”
Shettima said the occasion is not only to emphasise that the quality of what the nation consumes is just as important as the quantity but also to renew commitment to understanding the connection between food and human security.
He added that the composition of the NCN is a testament to the priority accorded to the nutrition of every Nigerian in line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s agenda for food and nutrition security in Nigeria.
He said, “The Council being inaugurated today stands ready to foster political determination and the utilization of our resources to eradicate malnutrition.
“This is our realistic pathway towards attaining the objectives outlined in the National Policy on Food and Nutrition.
“I am, therefore, confident that the diverse assembly of stakeholders within this council will facilitate comprehensive multi-stakeholder engagement, encompassing various sectors such as health, agriculture, social protection, and more, as well as spanning across different levels of government.”